Currently Playing: "Walking on a Dream" -- Empire of the Sun
11.30.08 15 °C
hiking along The Bay of Fires
A Thanksgiving unlike any other: Tasmanian Devils, endless coastline, Kangaroos, Wallabies, wine-tasting, hiking, rainforests, f-r-e-s-h seafood, white sand beaches, rock climbing, Wombats, chocolate factory, brewery tours, dairy farms, prison, and a turkey and panini sandwich.
My roommates and I headed down south to Tasmania for a joyous Thanksgiving week. We started south in Hobart and worked our way up the eastern coast to Launceston. Before we even arrived in Tazzie, many of the Australian mainlanders warned us to beware of people with 2 heads or 11 fingers, as Tasmania is consistently knocked as a land notorious for incest. No two-headed sightings, but I couldn't help wondering whether everyone I came across were brother and sister, or uncle and cousin.
Incest aside, Tasmania blew my mind! The entire state is sparsely populated and the way of life is slow paced and natural. The food was incredibly fresh and just delicious. Pinot Noir is a Tasmania specialty, and I certainly tasted some of the best red wine of my life. Tasmania can best be described as pristine, remote and natural. In fact, their license plates state that Tasmania is the "Natural State," a declaration quite true indeed. The weather was quite chilly and we encountered a bit of rain, but what can one expect when Antarctica is only 5,000 kilometers away? We were also very lucky because our backpackers group was fantastic! Our tour guide Ian was a character indeed. He looked like your stereotypical Aussie bloke and we got on great, by the end of the trip I had Ian, along with the rest of the group saying "Shweeeeetie" (insert Indian accent). The eclectic group was made up of an Irishman, a Canadian, a P.O.M.E. (Prisoner of Mother England), and two Dutch women. I so enjoyed getting to know each of these people and have kept in contact with them, another wonderful perk of traveling and the World Wide Web.
One of my favourite parts of the trip was our visit to Port Arthur Penitentiary. Port Arthur is where England sent their convicts to carry out their punishments in the 1800s. HOW STUPID! England sent convicts to one of the most beautiful places on earth! They should have done it the other way around! Anyways, the grounds are huge and it was so neat exploring all the cells and museums. Another favourite spot was the most beautiful beach I have ever been to, The Bay of Fires. Lonely Planet named The Bay of Fires the "#1 Beach in the World" (Lonely Planet 2009). I kept taking really deep breaths because the air was so refreshing and delicious. Tasmania cemented once again that one of my m-a-j-o-r goals in life is to end up on a remote beach far away from the hustle and nonsense of ordinary life. How many more years till this happens??
A taste of Tasmania:
Next land mass: Antarctica
First few hours in Hobart: me, Shayna, and April
Cascade Brewery tour
Port Arthur Penitentiary
Ross Bridge-- oldest bridge in Australia
Lunch time: my view from the rock I sat on while I ate a killer sandwich
April and me
ferocious Tasmania Devil
Wallabie in the parking lot-- notice the little joey
I take a lot of pictures while I am eating. Here I'm drinking coffee on a bench. Nice scenery, 'eh?
2009 Lonely Planet #1 Beach in the World: The Bay of Fires
Climbing the rocks
The international group
I wish you could really see how high I had to climb to get on that rock
Hiking a rainforrest